Video: A Moose Calf Caused a Traffic Jam on a Busy Highway in Massachusetts
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Imagine driving down the highway and seeing a glowing red sea of brake lights.
Dang. An accident. Or road work. Or...a MOOSE?!
No way. The odds of moose slowing down traffic on a highway to a near stop is so unlikely.
Well, it is just likely enough.
On April 2, 2023, a moose calf was spotted by Denise Kemmitt, who captured the video of the baby trotting down Route 68, in Gardner, Massachusetts.
No surprise to see the line of cars slowly following behind.
"The moose did not need to be relocated by environmental authorities and made its way back to its habitat," according to a CBS News article. "Moose are a common sight in the city."
I do NOT think moose are a common sight in Gardner, Massachusetts.
According to a Wildlife Informer article, moose populations in each New England state are as follows:
Maine: 60,000 - 70,000 moose. WOAH. A lot.
New Hampshire: 3,3000 moose. Far less, but within the top five-or-so states regarding moose population.
Massachusetts: 1,000 - 1,500 moose.
You cannot tell me this is a common sight. Especially a moose in the city. ESPECIALLY a moose casually trotting down the highway like they are exploring a wide-open field.
This is dang cool, but not normal at all.
That said, moose encounters in New England (typically in the woods) are common, and there are certain steps to take in order to protect yourself and these beautiful creatures.
1. Do not approach the animal. In national parks, it is advised to stay at least 25 yards back. If there is a calf, stay further away.
2. Do not get the moose's attention. Carry on and walk away.
3. If the moose does see you or have your attention, be non-threatening by talking in a soft voice, and again, walk away.
4. Watch for signs of agitation, like "laidback ears and upright hackles. If the moose watches you intensively, that may also be a sign you’re too close and are considered a threat," according to a Travel Experience article. "If you notice that the animal is upset, you should leave the area right away, calmly and quietly. In the unfortunate, but not unlikely, case the moose charges you, there are two things you can do: run or find cover!"